My main fields of research are zoosemiotics (sign-based and communicative relations in animals) and ecosemiotics (semiotic relations between culture and nature, semiotic relations in ecosystems). Recently I have also been engaged in research in ecocriticism and environmental communication studies. In my research I proceed from the theoretical foundations of biosemiotics and traditions of the Tartu Semiotic School. Studying the semiotic phenomena on the boundaries of human culture presumes open methodology and often object-based approach. I have written about the theory of ecosemiotics and zoosemiotics as well as conducting research on specific objects: biological mimicry, Estonian nature writing, history of zoosemiotics, and reception of new species.
Involvement in journals
- Personal Research Funding (PUT) project by the Estonian Research Council: "Semiotics of multispecies environments: agencies, meaning making and communication conflicts", project holder 2017-2020 (Department of Semiotics, University of Tartu).
- Norwegian-Estonian Research Cooperation Programme grant EMP151 "Animals in changing environments: Cultural mediation and semiotic analysis" Researcher in charge 2013-2016 (Department of Semiotics, University of Tartu).
- Institutional Research Funding No2-44 "Semiotic modelling of self-description mechanisms: Theory and applications", investigator 2013-2018 (head of the research theme: Kalevi Kull, Department of Semiotics, University of Tartu).
- Base financing research theme "Ecosemiotic analysis of Estonian nature-culture", Researcher in charge 2013 (Department of Semiotics, University of Tartu).
- Centre of Excellency in Cultural Theory (Archimedes Foundation / European Regional Development Fund), investigator 2007-2015 (head of the centre: Valter Lang, University of Tartu, Faculty of Philosophy; prinicipial investicator of the research group in semiotics: Kalevi Kull).
- Target financed theme No SF0180056s12 "Semiotic modelling of self-description mechanisms" principal investigator 2012 (head of the research theme: Kalevi Kull, Department of Semiotics, University of Tartu).
- Target financed theme No 0182748s06 "Meaning-generation and transdisciplinary methodology of semiotic analysis of culture", investigator 2006-2011 (head of the research theme: Peeter Torop, Department of Semiotics, University of Tartu).
- Estonian Science Foundation grant No 7790 "Dynamical zoosemiotics and animal representations", grant holder 2009-2012 (Department of Semiotics, University of Tartu).
- Estonian Science Foundation grant No 6670 "Theory of mimicry and ecosemiotic approach to imitation", grant holder 2006-2008 (Department of Semiotics, University of Tartu).
- Target financed theme No 0032471s03 "Topology and texture of Estonian literature. [Intersemiotic analysis]", investigator 2003-2005 (head of the research theme: Virve Sarapik, Estonian Literary Museum).
- Estonian Science Foundation grant No 5230 "The outlines of the ecological dimension of semiotics and the analysis of Estonian examples", investigator 2002-2005 (grant holder: Kalevi Kull, Department of Semiotics, University of Tartu).
Membership in academic organisations
- Expert evaluations to Estonian Science Foundation, Foundation Archimedes, Tallinn University Press a. o.
- Trainings given to Tallinn Technical University (ecosemiotics in landscape architecture), Libraries of Jõgevamaa county (Estonian nature writing), Tartu Environmental Education Centre (semiotician in nature), Estonian Native Language Teachers Association (ecocriticism and nature writing), Graduate School of Culture Studies and Arts (peer-reviewing), Estonian Academy of Arts (mimicry) a. o.
- Reviews to academic publishers Rodopi, Springer, journals Biosemiotics, Social Semiotics, Trans, Green Letters a. o.